Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures were lower on slow beef demand, lower than a week ago cash business, and the steep drop in feeders. August live was down $.97 at $117.02 and October was $.50 lower at $121.65.
Feeder cattle were sharply lower with several months limit down on the strength in corn and fund selling. August was down $3 at $141.22, a new 7-month low, and September was $3 lower at $144.12.
There was light to moderate trade in the major feeding areas on Thursday. Trade in the South was $114 to $115 on the live basis, down $2 from last week. Dressed business in the North was nearly $5 lower at $183 to $184 with scattered sales at $186. Considering trade was only light to moderate, there still may be some business left to be done this week. USDA did report extremely light trade on Wednesday with 643 head moving in the five major trading areas, all on the Dressed basis at $184.
Boxed beef cutout values was sharply lower to weak on moderate demand and moderate to heavy offerings. Choice was down $1.78 at $186.03 and Select was $.24 lower at $173.42. The estimated cattle slaughter of 125,000 head was down 3,000 on the week and 5,000 on the year.
Hogs were mostly higher on the discount to cash and spillover from corn. Also, while cash trade was mostly lower, movement has picked up a bit during the second half of the week. July was up $1.35 $97.30 and August was $.97 higher at $92.27.
After only light opening tests during the first half of the week, direct cash hog movement has increased somewhat during the second half. Nationally, the base carcass meat price was $3.13 lower at $86.50 to $101 with the weighted average at $91.02. The Eastern Cornbelt closed $2.04 lower at $86.50 to $92 for an average of $89.08, the Western Belt was $2.50 lower at $86.50 to $101 with the average at $94.50, and Iowa/Southern Minnesota was down $2.54 at $86.50 to $101 for an average of $94.64.
Butcher hogs at the terminal markets were mostly steady, instance of a dollar lower at Dorchester, Wisconsin, with tops mainly at $59 to $65. Packers improved their bids Wednesday and country movement increased. At this point, it looks like those packers are still trying to get inventory for the tail end of this week and early part of next week and are able to move numbers at lower prices.
The Missouri Direct base carcass meat price was steady to $2 higher at $88 to $90 with sows unchanged at $40 to $48; supply and demand were both called light to moderate. Illinois Direct sows were steady to $1 lower at $41 to $46 with a few up to $48 on light demand and moderate offerings.
The pork carcass cutout value was down $.06 at $89.51 with slow to moderate trade, light to moderate demand and mostly moderate offerings. The estimated slaughter was 393,000 head, down 29,000 on the week and 18% on the year.